Urbanite

Editorial: Revisit police security plan for WTC site

One World Trade Center stands with 4 World

(Credit: Craig Ruttle)

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan has ruled that the NYPD had all its t's crossed and i's dotted when it drew up a super-strict security plan for a rebuilt World Trade Center site.

She's probably right about that much.

The NYPD has been working on the security blueprint for years -- weighing New York's safety imperatives against demands for greater openness by local businesses...

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O'Reilly: The case against fracking is cracking

Men with Cabot Oil and Gas work on

(Credit: Getty Images)

'I believe hydraulic fracking is, in fact, safe. We know that, from everything we've seen, there's not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone."

What right-wing, knuckle-dragger uttered that inanity? Why none other than former Obama Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, a former Democratic U.S. senator from Colorado.

How about this one?

"America...

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Editorial: Bill de Blasio makes right call on NYCHA

Shola Olatoye, the newly appointed chair of the

(Credit: Anthony Lanzilote)

It's no mystery why Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised a "total reset" on the New York City Housing Authority's maintenance and operations policies. The default settings during much of the Bloomberg reign were disastrous.

Not too long ago NYCHA's 400,000 residents had to wait an average of 282 days to get a routine work order completed. That's insane if you've got a toilet that leaks or a loose...

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Zimmerman: Snowed by our penchant for automobiles

A woman crosses a street after an overnight

(Credit: Getty Images / Emmanuel Dunan)

'The evil snow is upon us." So wrote New York lawyer and diarist George Templeton Strong in December 1879, describing a huge storm. Teams of horses pulled plows through the snow, piled high along the sidewalks, and city dwellers struggled to move about.

In the future, Strong imagined, things would be better. "A century hence cities will be put under glass," he predicted, "and New York will...

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Figueroa: Preschooling should not be this stressful

Pre-kindergarten students learning how to read in 2012.

(Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan)

New York has an early-education problem. All over the city, parents are jumping through hoops to ensure their children not only attend a good preschool, but one at all.

There are more children than available spots, so the competition is fierce, even for preschools that are not well regarded. Unfortunately, in some low-income areas in particular, the options are few. The preschools in my neighborhood,...

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Editorial: Don't retreat now on Common Core

Slowing or halting Common Core and standards-based evaluations

(Credit: janet Hamlin)

It's not just parents and teachers blasting Common Core standards anymore.

Members of the Board of Regents and leaders in the State Senate and Assembly are quaking and defecting as they confront a statewide grassroots revolt.

They want implementation slowed or postponed.

But most of the changes can't be slowed or postponed. They would have to be reversed. And then what? Nobody...

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Featherstone: NYC could help take stress off tiger-mom kids

With city help, a Fort Greene tiger mom

(Credit: William Brown)

The 6-year-old boy was having a meltdown. He didn't want to leave his Saturday morning tennis lesson in Fort Greene early to rush to his Mandarin class.

But his mom insisted: Routine-packed Saturdays are part of her parenting. She has become a version of "tiger mom," a label that evokes the stereotype of an exceedingly strict Chinese mother.

Tiger mom Amy Chua, whose 2011 book, "The...

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Editorial: Don't take charter funds for pre-K

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio answers

(Credit: Philip Kamrass )

The battle has begun. Schools Chancellor Carmen FariƱa has said the city will divert $210 million intended for charter schools to pay for prekindergarten seats.

It seems City Hall is determined to do a good thing as badly as possible. The citywide expansion of pre-K is a great idea. But why must it come at the expense of another crucial idea -- charter schools? It's not as if urban systems...

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Opinion: Soaking the rich is a shaky strategy

De Blasio and Cuomo

(Credit: Mayor Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo meet in Albany. (Philip Kamrass))

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio remain locked in a political and legislative tug-of-war over how to pay for expanded public pre-K education.

Cuomo wants to phase in a statewide pre-K program, but de Blasio prefers a much more expansive initiative supported by a dedicated stream of higher income taxes on NYC residents earning more than $500,000. He called this a "stable, consistent...

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Editorial: Philip Seymour Hoffman, another heroin victim

Philip Seymour Hoffman poses during a photocall for

(Credit: EPA / Daniel Dal Zennaro )

The thief has struck again, taking from the world a talented actor and treasured father. Another victim of addiction has been stolen from us, and it is not, this time, because there aren't enough rehab beds, outpatient programs or awareness programs, or enough cops to put criminals behind bars.

It's just because that's what addiction often does.

Philip Seymour Hoffman died Sunday in...

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